The night is cold and you’re on your way to the ball. The ride will be long due to the line of carriages leading up to the house and the brick at your feet will stay warm for only so long. What’s a girl to do? If you are a girl of means, you might decide to wear this fashionable wrap over your gown.
This print appeared in L’Observateur des Modes No. 479 and was published in Paris sometime between 1818-1823. It’s hand colored and the description at the bottom translated from French into English reads:
Hairstyle decorated with feathers, smooth crepe and branches of an olive tree; the composition of Mr. Peulier, Hairdresser of S.A.R.M. Madame Duchesse de Berry. Wrap is furnished for autumn with crepe weave rods and satin nodes; cashmere fur-lined coat of India doublee of satin and furnished with grebe…
When I found this print in a shop, I was surprised to discover the Duchesse de Berry was mentioned in a fashion plate. The duchesse was born Princess Caroline of Naples and Sicily and in 1816 she married Charles Ferdinand d’Artois, the Duc de Berry. He was the nephew of France’s King Louis XVIII. She was very popular with the French people. I’ve included her portrait, which was painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence in 1825, so you could compare the likeness in the print to that of the duchesse.
The reference to her hairdresser and use of her likeness reminded me of today’s celebrity fashion magazines. I suppose women back then were also swayed by who wore what.